The Japanese government has provided the Malawi government with ¥1.947 billion (approximately US 17.7 million) to assist in expanding and upgrading of the Domasi College of Education.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Lilongwe, Hirotsuku Ikeda, who is Charge d’Affaires ad Interim of Japan to Malawi, said the grant was a sign of how his government is committed in developing Malawi’s education sector.
“Japan is committed in supporting Malawi in the education sector. This is a grant which will help in the Project for Expanding and Upgrading of Domasi College of Education. The institution is very important to introducing excellent teachers in Malawi” said Ikeda.
Ikeda said the grant will be used to upgrade the existing three year diploma course to a four year bachelor’s degree program. Also, it will increase the current teachers training capacity from 220 to 300 students per year.
He added that the grant will also help in infrastructure developments at the institution.
“The grant will further facilitate the construction of various facilities which will include a lecture block, laboratory block, a library, male and female hostels,” he said.
According to Ikeda, the government of Japan is confident that this support will compliment efforts in addressing the challenges of shortage of teachers in secondary schools.
He said the situation has worsened since 1994 when Malawi introduced free primary education which consequently raised the need for more secondary school teachers.
Speaking in an interview Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, said the government of Japan has played a big part in assisting improving education standards at the college.
“We want to upgrade Domasi to be part of University of Malawi. The grant from Japan will help a lot in supporting this project,” said Gondwe.
Acting principal at Domasi College of Education, Florida Banda Kumwembe, said the institution is hopeful that the grant will help to solve some of the challenges that the college is facing.
“We train many teachers but we do not have enough infrastructure and other facilities. But with this support, I believe that the capacity of training secondary school teachers will be enhanced” she said.